Museums, auction houses and art connoisseurs have long served as critical intermediaries in the making of the art world. These traditional gatekeepers have privileged high barriers of entry in art consumption. With the advent of the internet and social media, there is promise of a revolutionary change, allowing for unprecedented democratic participation in the constructing of art experience and knowledge by the public. Furthermore, the rise of emerging markets such as China and India serve as another powerful new intermediary with new art buyers and consumers coming to the art marketplace.

This opens new possibilities in cultural consumption and production, influencing how art is discussed and traded online and offline. Thereby, this course focuses on the internet and emerging markets, and how they serve as a game changer in the art world. We have divided this exploration across thematic areas of art expertise, quality, commodification and commercialism of art, digitization and globalization. The goal here is for participants to explore each of these areas as it relates to their own experiences, as well as contemporary events and scholarship concerning the influence of the internet and emerging markets in the art world.

Course Tutors: Filip Vermeylen and Payal Arora

Filip Vermeylen studied early modern European history at the universities of Antwerp and Leuven. In 1993 he went to New York to attend graduate school at Columbia University, meanwhile he had taken up a position as a researcher at the Rubenianum in Antwerp where he studied the complex relationship between art and economics in all its facets. After obtaining his Ph.D., he became a postdoctoral fellow for the Fund for Scientific Research-Flanders. The dissemination of Flemish art during the Ancien Régime was the focus of this research.

During the Summer of 2006, Filip Vermeylen joined the ranks of the Faculty of History and Arts at the Erasmus University. He teaches various courses in the Master’s program Cultural Economics and Entrepreneurship of which he was also the coordinator (2006-2013). He conducts research on a wide range of issues dealing with the economics of art and culture, with a particular focus on art markets past and present. He has recently been appointed Professor in the Cultural Economics of Global Art Markets at the Erasmus University.

Payal Arora has research and consulting experience in both the private and public sector worldwide including with GE, Shell, World Bank, hp, National Health Foundation, The Ministry of Education in Jordan, Sotheby’s, Art Review, Kellogg and the Beirut Chambers of Commerce. Her expertise lies in digital cultures and ICTs in emerging economies for social change.

Payal sits on several boards including the Global Media Journal, The South Asian Media, Arts & Culture Research Center in University of North Texas, Young Erasmus, and The World Women Global Council in New York. She holds degrees from Harvard University (M.Ed. in International Policy) and Columbia University (Doctorate in Language, Literacy & Technology). She is a Visiting Scholar for NYU Steinhardt’s Media, Culture, and Communication department. She is currently based in the Department of Media and Communication at Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands.